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AG Yost: 1 in 6 death-row inmates have been executed since 1981

Currently, there are more than 100 death-row inmates in Ohio.
Credit: Kiichiro Sato
FILE – In this Nov. 2005 file photo, Larry Greene, public information director of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, demonstrates how a curtain is pulled between the death chamber and witness room at the prison in Lucasville, Ohio. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday, arch 7, 2019, delayed three additional executions to give the state prison system time to develop a new lethal injection method. The Republican governor’s order follows a federal judge’s scathing critique in January of the first drug used in the current process, the sedative midazolam.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — According to a new report from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, only one in six death penalty sentences in the state have been carried out since 1981. 

The total number of executions in the forty-year timeframe stands at 56 deaths, just under 16 percent of the total number of people who have received capital punishment in the state. The report also states that 140 sentences remain active, some of which are under review by courts. 

RELATED: State senator from Lakewood to introduce bipartisan legislation to ban the death penalty in Ohio

Of the 336 individuals who have been received the death penalty, 21 have had their sentence commuted, and 33 have died of either natural causes or suicide.

AG Yost also indicated that eight individuals were removed because they were deemed intellectually disabled, therefore making them "constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty." 

“In short, Ohio imposes death sentences on perpetrators of brutal and revolting murders, then spends years debating, reviewing, appealing and failing to act on those decisions,” the Executive Summary says.

RELATED: Joe Biden faces challenge to end federal death penalty

The report says that delays within the courts have contributed to longer-than-usual wait times for some death-row inmates. In 2020, there were more than 20 individuals with pending cases for 10-or-more years in the federal court system. There are also nine inmates who have not seen a case update in two years.  

One person was also added to death row in Ohio last year.

Editor's note: the video in the player below is from a story published on Feb. 18, 2021.